Asterisk® has grown from the very humble beginnings of being my own PBX since I couldn't afford to buy one, and has grown into a world-wide phenomenon, becoming successful due to both the ideas behind it as well as the open-source development model. The usability and usefulness of Asterisk as part of an IP PBX or other telephony system versus a proprietary phone system can be compared in part to the difference between the Betamax and VHS video standards (except, of course that Asterisk is both the open system *and* the best quality system). Betamax, while of an initial high quality, was a proprietary system whose technology could only be advanced by the original creators of the standard. The VHS standard, on the other hand, was made available ...

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